NOAA's First Post-Katrina Fish Samples Show No Oil Exposure

Federal scientists say the first samples of fish taken from the Gulf of Mexico two weeks after Hurricane Katrina struck showed no exposure to spilled oil.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says scientists conducted the testing on a voyage from Pensacola to an area southwest of New Orleans. Additional testing for exposure to other contaminants continues.

A Coast Guard spokesman in Baton Rouge said today about eight million gallons of oil was released by the storm -- onshore and offshore Louisiana, including pipelines and drilling platforms.

He said a lot of it was contained at the storage facilities and almost two million gallons evaporated. About one million gallons could not be recovered.

No spills have been reported as a result of Hurricane Rita's hit on Texas and southwest Louisiana.

NOAA teams also are surveying fishing fleets, seafood processing plants, fish markets and bait shops. The survey is expected to take months to complete.


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